Friday, August 31, 2012

Family, growing old

I suppose as I sit here in a Hotel room in Fallbrook California,there have been few times when I felt more tired. To watch a parent age is a difficult thing. I know many of my friends have been in my shoes in recent years. Many have lost their parents. Although my father has survived this latest event, he is having surgery today that is dangerous for him, but is less dangerous than doing nothing. He is in and out of very conscience alertness where he seems nearly his old self, to moments where I see him clinging to life on a thread of oxygen.

When we are children our parents make all our decisions. We push and we fight them as we become teens seeking to earn the right to make our own. As my father approaches this time in his life, I see not all of his decisions have been good ones and now I struggle against the necessity to become involved in making decisions for him.

He is married to a lovely woman whose hands are far fuller of worries and stresses than anyone should carry. But she has the right to do so.

My brother and his wife, my aunt and my sister, are all here. We have tried to educate ourselves about the costs and realities of care and the cost of not having any. It is an uncomfortable time for us all.

When we first had a health scare about Glenn's Dad, we walked away determined to better prepare for a second crisis. We also made a vow to not put our own children in this position. Somehow not much has changed in this regard. Now as much as I may wish it isn't so, my own father is in need of help. Whether he will allow us to help I suppose will play out with some time. One thing is certain, I am glad I came.

I hope he recovers enough and is well and safe enough to live a longer life. I hope I can come to cook a turkey dinner for him and pour him a glass of Merlot. That I am sure he won't turn down. November seemed so close not that long ago. Now it feels years away.

Today is his procedure, tomorrow I head home. Something about this time in my life makes me feel like I am every age. I am a little kid, wanting someone to tell me what to do, an adult confident I have good options for people to consider,  like a parent to my father while aging myself and as tired as I have ever been.

Say a prayer for my Dad and one for me. On this road of life I am walking through a particularly rocky patch.